What is more, I found the following scene strongly reminiscent of the adage regarding Tamar and Amnon in Pirkei Avot, namely that he who desires merely to possess does not truly love a thing, whereas he who desires without the will to own it does. Amnon took Tamar against her will, then threw her out. Having possessed her, he despised her. In contrast, Jonathan gave up his throne and his father's respect (and perhaps even his father's love) for David.
- Irene smiled.
"Admiration of beauty, and longing for possession are not love. If
yours were another case like mine, Jon--where the deepest things are
stifled; the flesh joined, and the spirit at war!"
"Why should it, Mother? You think she must be like her father, but
she's not. I've seen him."
Again the smile came on Irene's lips, and in Jon something wavered;
there was such irony and experience in that smile.
"You are a giver, Jon; she is a taker."